Reviews, recipes, ramblings and other gourmet bites. A food blog of indulgence...

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Rising and falling

We have had a run of bad luck in the kitchen recently. First there was the apple cake that was ... erm ... accidentally grilled rather than baked (a delightful mixture of charcoal and raw cake mix ensued). There was the ill-fated batch of cornbread that was more like corn sludge - am still not sure how this happened, whether it was a bad recipe or, more likely, a bad chef (me) to blame. Then of course there was the unfortunate case of the curdled ginger ice-cream (the less said about that the better).

Then we come to Sunday night, and the sad tale of my cupcake tragedy. I had seen this recipe on the very lovely Smitten Kitchen and thought 'Good grief they look amazing.' This is because a) I have eyes and b) I am excited by cake.

Look at the link, go on. Then feel your mouth start to fill up unattractively with saliva! Are they cakes? Are they tiny tiny souffles? Does it matter when they're so amazingly light and filled with cream?

I wanted to know the answers to these questions and more, so I set about making them, and, fool that I am, I decided to adapt them without having tested the original recipe. Can you say rookie mistake? Instead of making dark chocolate cupcakes with mint cream, I thought I'd whip up a batch of white chocolate souffle cupcakes with raspberry cream.

I maintain that the flavours would have worked had I managed to get as far as combining them, ( was that sort of a day in the kitchen). However, I was in a rush to get to a delightful cheese and wine evening laid on by the lovely Lydia, so I was cooking like a slapdash loon - and sadly it wasn't the kind of lunacy through which you can see flashes of genius.

First I burned the white chocolate, creating what can only be described as sweet scrambled egg, then I got so lulled into the false sense of security that the recipe provides (the souffles are supposed to fall in the middle) that I blithely used my cupcake tray rather than the larger US style muffin pan that was clearly needed. I got 22 cakes out of my mixture...the recipe states you should get around 9. Ah. To cut an already far too long story short, I ended up with sad little husks, cowering in the bottom of the paper cases and incapable even of holding the weight of the cream.

I refuse to be defeated (especially not by my own stupidity!) I will try these light little souffle-cakey-delights again, and this time, I shall read the recipe properly. Apologies to Deb at Smitten Kitchen for butchering it quite so spectacularly this time!

Thank you for bearing with me during that tale of woe - I needed to get it off my chest! The photos have, I hope, proved a balm to my whinging. Cupcake catastrophes aside, we had a wonderful weekend. We went to Hever Castle, where these photos were taken, and where autumn is really happening in style.

The rose gardens were in bloom and the air was heavy with their perfume; the sun kept bursting through the trees at us, turning the leaves brilliant orange and gold; there were swans gliding across the enormous lake, and creeping ivy up the castle walls - just beautiful! And I got to geek out over Tudor artefacts, especially the stunningly illuminated Books of Hours owned by the young Anne Boleyn, in which she had written 'le temps viendra'. How right she was.

1 comment:

  1. Do I detect the artistic work of someone who has recently acquired a rather smart new camera?